18-year-old Naomi Kalu from Oldham Boxing Club featured in the first phase of the Violence Reduction Units ‘I am greater’ campaign.
The campaign, launched in May 2021, was developed with young people from across Greater Manchester and shows why young people are greater than violence.
Young people shared their stories in a series of powerful videos, including individuals who have personally experienced the impact of serious violence. Resources were also provided for schools and parents.
The campaign has now achieved over 8.7 million impressions.
With the next phase of the campaign launching soon, we look back at why Naomi took part in the campaign and discuss her aspirations for the future.
Why did you want to be part of the ‘I am greater’ campaign?
The campaign gave me an opportunity to be involved in something positive for the community and be a positive role model for other young people.
Why do you think it’s important for young people to have positive role models?
It’s important because a lot of people don’t know who to look up to. If people have someone missing in their life, they need someone to fill that spot.
What are your hopes for the future?
My main goal is to go to the Olympics and represent Great Britain in boxing.
I recently won the National Championships; they were the first championships after lockdown so my first fight in two years – it was great to get back in the ring. There were people spectating and watching through a live stream. The pressure at a fight is different to how you feel when you are sparing at your club.
I also want to continue with music and release an album and I am keen to get involved in more community projects in the future.
What would you say to inspire other young people?
Self-expression is so important, these past two years especially, have taught us we need to concentrate on ourselves a bit more. I was a lot quieter and now I talk too much. When you have somewhere you feel comfortable, separate from home and college and friends, you have your own space.
Boxing is an individual sport, it helps you spend time with yourself, which helps with your confidence. Find what you love and go for it.
The next phase of the campaign focuses on language – violence starts with words – and continues the positive tone of the first phase of the campaign by showing positive actions young people can take to prevent violence from escalating.
Article posted on: 18/03/2022 09:03am